PHYESTA was founded in 2010 to combine two of Scotland's leading Physics & Astronomy departments into a single world-class research centre, building upon the very successful pan-Scotland SUPA alliance, which provides a unified Graduate School and Knowledge Transfer office.
PHYESTA was motivated primarily by strong and growing research connections in Astronomy (Exoplanets and Cosmology) and Condensed Matter Physics (Quantum Ordering, Superconductivity and Magnetism), and led to a successful joint Physics submission to REF2014. This collaboration has proved very successful, with a strong track record of joint publications and funding. In particular, Exoplanet research continues to be a highlight, supported by the FP7 ETAEARTH grant, and with a joint focus on HARPS-N, for which operation has now been extended to 2023. Our collaborative work in Cosmology and Galaxy Evolution has also been productive, while collaborative research in Condensed Matter has led to a 2018 £1.2M joint UoE/StA EPSRC grant (with a second in preparation) and a successful Condensed Matter CDT (which runs to 2022, and also involves Heriot Watt).
However, given the recent growth of Physics & Astronomy at Edinburgh and St Andrews, and the development of broader research connections across SUPA and beyond, it has been decided that both Universities should make single-institution submissions in Physics to REF2021. We plan continued close collaboration in Physics & Astronomy between Edinburgh and St Andrews, but our renewed and broadened research strategy develops new and exciting links across the Scottish, UK and international research landscapes.